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Garbage to Garden Among 24 Finalists Chosen for Second Annual International Food System Innovation Competition

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AUSTIN, Texas Garbage to Garden, based in Portland, Maine, was recently named one of 24 finalists in the Second Annual Food+City Challenge Prize, an Austin, Texas based food startup competition awarding up to $50,0000 for top ideas in global food system innovations. Garbage to Garden will travel to Austin next February to compete against an international group of finalists working on a wide range of ideas that may transform the way the world or the community -- feeds itself.

Now in its second year, the Food+City Food Challenge Prize (formerly known as the Food Lab at the University of Texas at Austin) attracted 115 entrepreneur submissions from around the world, aimed at improving or solving a wide range of food system issues. See the full list of all 24 finalists here. Among the selected finalist projects being considered are the following:

Go Fresh!, a startup founded by Texas A&M University student McCalley Cunningham, seeks to help businesses and house holds decrease food waste. Tree Adoption Uganda, founded by Uganda native Charles Batte, uses fruit trees to build climate change resilience in farming communities that are tackling malnutrition and food insecurity.

Other finalists include Agruppa, which uses mobile technology to quantify demand in small stores in low-income neighborhoods in Colombia in order to provide access to high-quality produce at lower prices. Tastegraphy, a startup founded in Austin, compiles and sells data about consumer tastes, changing not only how people discover food, but also how their taste preferences can drive food creation.

Garbage to Garden of Portland, Maine aims to combat chronic soil erosion by collecting organic compost, via a garbage and recycling collection service, from households, businesses and schools. Another finalists is 47farms, whose business model seeks to connect large food sellers and distributors with local growers and suppliers in order reduce the distance that food travels between farms and consumers.

The idea behind the Food+City Challenge Prize is to identify and encourage startup businesses, products and/or processes that spark new solutions for problems within the global food system. In an effort to further motivate food innovators to tackle these pressing issues, Food+City is now awarding up to $50,000 to this year's winners (up from $30,000 in 2015).

'This is a great lineup, and we're excited to see this year's participation expand well beyond the United States to include the United Kingdom, Israel, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Colombia,' said Dr. Robyn Metcalfe, director of Food+City. 'A wide range of startups include urban vertical farming, commercial kitchen sharing, and curbside composting. We also saw an increase in food delivery services and waste reduction business models.

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